Winter Forest Bathing
Instructor: Mary Alice Mastrovito
Saturday, January 22 | 11– 1:30 pm
Sunnybrook Preserve in Chesterland
$25 members/ $30 non-members
Class is full- thanks for your interest
Join us for a Winter Forest Bathing experience with Mary Alice. We will begin in a heated lodge with an outdoor fireplace and warm drinks to prepare us for our adventure. No need to worry about the cold- we will make frequent returns to the lodge to warm up. Take time to enjoy nature and mindfulness in one of the most pristine times of year.
Optional: Bring a bagged lunch and stay to socialize after the event concludes. Or bring your cross country skis and enjoy the trails.
Forest Bathing or Forest Therapy is a research-based framework for supporting health and wellness through immersion in forests and other natural environments. Forest Bathing walks encourage a deep connection to Nature and provide us with the opportunity to unplug and step back from stress to practice balance, practice peace, and find the stillness within.
Participants will experience a slow, mindful walk through the forest while being guided to a full sensory experience. Participants will be invited into both a personal, reflective experience and an opportunity to share their observations with their fellow walkers.
The program will be a 2 hour guided walk with a certified guide of Forest Bathing. We will cover under a mile over easy terrain with frequent stops. This walk will be suitable for most ability levels.
About the instructor: Mary Alice Mastrovito
Mary Alice’s professional life began in the fields of music and teaching before moving on to careers in horticulture, including my own garden design and maintenance business. Through it all was an interest in healing in the broadest sense and a deepening personal spirituality.
Later trainings included certifications in Reiki, Flower Essences, Nature and Forest Therapy, and ordination as an inter-faith minister.Through it all, Nature has been her cherished and trusted partner guiding me through personal evolution.
I’ve tried hiking groups and I can’t keep up.
Forest Therapy walks are slow and easy meanderings on an established trail. We typically walk less than a mile during a 2 or 3 hour walk with frequent stops. The focus of a Forest Therapy walk is the experience of immersion into nature while opening your senses to all the elements present. How fast or how far we walk does not come into consideration. If you have specific concerns, please contact me. A few of the trails are suitable for those with temporary or permanent mobility issues who use walking aides like walkers or canes.
What do I need to bring to a Forest Therapy walk? How do I prepare?
The most important preparation is to dress for the weather. Be comfortable. Because our slow meandering will not be building up much body heat, you may want to have an additional layer on hand in case you are chilly. Always bring water. Always wear suitable shoes. Flip flops are not suitable footwear for this activity.
Some people also bring sunscreen and a small backpack and journal. And of course, any personal medical needs like an epi pen or other medication.
Proven benefits from a regular Forest Therapy practice
✤ Boosts immune system
✤ Lowers blood pressure
✤ Reduces stress
✤ Improves mood
✤ Enhances focus, even in children with ADHD
✤ Accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
✤ Increases energy level
✤ Improves sleep
✤ And…expands our heart as we shift into a vibrant, resilient, relationship of reciprocity.
The Guide Opens the Door. The Forest is the Therapist
It is now widely accepted that time in Nature is good for us…but there is so much more to it than that.
Forest Therapy is a practice that encourages us to remember how to live in balance, harmony, and deep relationship with our self, each other, and the entire more than human world.
Together we create a safe and creative space where we can practice dropping the old attitude of human dominance and grow into a new relationship of respect and responsibility with all life.
Together we build habits that support us off the trail as well. Habits like awareness, presence, openness and observation.